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January 2010

Release Date: Jan. 28, 2010ASU Logo

Best-Selling Author to Address ASU Writers Conference

Award-winning poet and author Mary Karr will headline Angelo State University’s 14th Annual Writers Conference in Honor of Elmer Kelton Thursday and Friday, Feb. 18-19, in the Houston Harte University Center, 1910 Rosemont Drive.

The conference is open free to the public and will be held in the University Center’s C.J. Davidson Conference Center. The annual event focuses on fiction, poetry and nonfiction readings.

Sessions will begin Thursday at 9:30 a.m. and Friday at 9 a.m. Mary Ellen Hartje, an ASU English professor, will interview Karr at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, followed by a book signing. The evening will culminate at 7 p.m. with a tribute to Elmer Kelton, who died in August of 2009, by his son Steve Kelton, author Robert Flynn, ASU English Professor Terry Dalrymple and Hartje.

Friday sessions begin at 9 a.m. with Elizabeth Raby, winner of the 2010 Kelton Contest for her winning entry, “Bride-To-Be,” and selected poems. A luncheon with Karr and conference writers along with ASU English students and faculty will be held from 12:30-2 p.m. Karr’s keynote address will begin Friday at 7 p.m. followed by a book signing.

Other authors participating in the conference include Lindsey Applegarth, Diana Barbee, Nancy Gibbs, Terri Tucker, Alan Birkelbach, Jerry Craven, Andrew Geyer, Dana Glossbrenner, Jerry Hamby, Juan Perez and Sally Hannay.

Selected poems by Larry Thomas, Alan Berecka, Steve Schroeder, Karla Morton, Carol Reposa, Clarence Wolfshohl, Sherry Craven and Nathan Brown will be presented in opening sessions on Thursday.

Besides her New York Times best-selling memoir, “The Liar’s Club,” Karr also wrote sequels, “Cherry” and “Lit,” published in November 2009. Her works include “Sinners Welcome,” Viper Rum” and “The Devil’s Tour.”

Karr’s works rose from her childhood in Groves, Texas, which is detailed in “The Liar’s Club,” named for her father’s friends who gathered after work to drink and tell stories. “Cherry” is about her adolescence and early adulthood, and “Lit: A Memoir” details her struggles with alcohol and with becoming a mother.

Karr prefers poetry, for which she has also been honored, winning The Whiting Writer’s Award, a National Education Association award, a Radcliffe Bunting Fellowship and a Guggenheim grant. She has also won prizes from Best American Poetry and Pushcart Prizes for both poetry and essays.

The Jesse Truesdell Peck Professor of Literature at Syracuse University, Karr has worked as the weekly poetry editor for the Washington Post Book World’s “Poet’s Choice” column.

Kelton wrote more than 40 books, including “The Time it Never Rained,” “The Man Who Rode Midnight” and “The Good Old Boys.” He was a seven-time winner of the Western Writers of America’s (WWA) Spur Award, and the WWA recently named him the “all-time best western author.” He also received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Western Literature Association and the Barbara McCombs/Lon Tinkle Award from the Texas Institute of Letters. He was the first Distinguished Visiting Professor at ASU.

The ASU English Department hosts the conference, which is sponsored by the university. It is funded in part by College Bookstores of America, the ASU Alumni Center, the College of Liberal and Fine Arts, the English Department, and Guy and Eva Choate.

More information about Karr is available by going online to: www.harpercollins.com/author/microsite/About.aspx?authorid=27468.

For more information about the Writers Conference, contact Dr. Julie Gates at (325) 942-2268, ext. 236, or visit the conference Web site.